• Facing Climate Threats, Landmarks May Have to Adapt and “Transform”

    How much effort should be spent trying to keep Venice looking like Venice – even as it faces rising sea levels that threaten the city with more frequent extreme flooding? As climate change threatens cultural sites, preservationists and researchers are asking whether these iconic locations should be meticulously restored or should be allowed to adapt and “transform.”

  • Turning Waste into Valuable Critical Minerals

    A new way to treat acid mine drainage (AMD) could help transform the environmental pollution problem into an important domestic source of the critical rare earth elements needed to produce technology ranging from smart phones to fighter jets.

  • Bay Area Coastal Flooding Triggers Region-Wide Commute Disruptions

    Researchers have modeled how coastal flooding will impact commutes in the Bay Area over the next twenty years. Regions with sparse road networks will have some of the worst commute delays, regardless of their distances from the coast.

  • Safeguarding the Power Supply During a Major Outage

    Germany’s power supply is one of the most reliable in the world. Yet the growth in renewable energy has introduced a host of unpredictable factors into the power mix. The increasing number of irregular power sources can bring problems for grid stability. Moreover, in the event of a prolonged outage, there is the need to maintain the supply of power to critical infrastructure.

  • More Frequent Coastal Flooding Threatens 20 percent of global GDP

    Coastal flooding across the world is set to rise by around 50 percent due to climate change in the next 80 years, endangering millions more people and trillions of dollars more of coastal infrastructure. The land area exposed to an extreme flood event will increase by more than 250,000 square kilometers globally, an increase of 48 percent or over 800,000 square kilometers. This would mean about 77 million more people will be at risk of experiencing flooding, a rise of 52 percent to 225 million. The economic risk in terms of the infrastructure exposed will rise by up to $14.2 trillion, which represents 20 percent of global GDP.

  • Impact of Sea Level Rise on Property

    A new study reveals that urgent action is needed to protect billions of dollars in real estate investment across South Florida due to impacts of sea level rise over the next several decades. The aim of the report is to cast light on the issue and clarify the alternatives available to South Florida, which embraces the four counties of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. These counties together generate more than $337 billion in personal income annually with a combined real property value assessed at more than $833 billion.

  • Top Reasons for Sewer Line Failure

    Concrete sewer pipes around the world are most likely to fail either because their concrete is not strong enough or because they can’t handle the weight of trucks that drive over them, a new study indicates.

  • Showcasing Cybersecurity Technologies

    Twelve innovative cybersecurity technologies available for commercial licensing from four U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories will be showcased to the public during a series of free webinars starting this month.

  • E-Waste-Eating Protein Creates Rare Earth Elements

    Rare earth elements (REE) are essential for American competitiveness in the clean energy industry because they are used in many devices important to a high-tech economy and national security. Researchers have designed a new process, based on a naturally occurring protein, that could extract and purify REE from low-grade sources. It could offer a new avenue toward a more diversified and sustainable REE sector for the United States.

  • Coming Soon? A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters

    When it comes to calamities, Jeffrey Schlegelmilch thinks big. In his upcoming book, Rethinking Readiness: A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters, he explores menaces that potentially could change not just lives or communities, but entire societies. He groups these into five categories: climate change; cyber threats; nuclear war; failures of critical infrastructure such as electric grids; and biological perils including pandemics. Schlegelmilch answered questions about megadisasters in light of recent events.

  • Cost-Effective Ways to Reduce Risks in the Supply Chain

    The coronavirus pandemic has hit the economy hard. What lessons can be learned from this experience? And what’s the best way for companies to protect themselves against this kind of crisis in the future? The answer will certainly involve a combination of different approaches – but new mathematical methods look likely to be a very promising piece of the puzzle.

  • Venice Ambitious Anti-Flood System Passes First Trial

    Venice On Friday conducted the first test of a controversial dam system made up of 78 inflatable barriers, aiming to protect the city from severe flooding. The ambitious and costly dam system, launched in 2003, has been plagued by corruption and is nearly a decade behind schedule. It will becoe fully operational by the end of 20201, and it is designed to hold water surges as high as 10 feet.

  • Securing the Smart Home

    So…you’ve built your smart home, it’s got smart heating and lighting, all the latest smart communications and entertainment systems, and of course, smart power generation to make it smart and green. But, how do you keep it secure and stop forced digital or physical entry? Well, you need smart security too, of course.

  • Why Japanese Businesses Are So Good at Surviving Crises

    On 11 March 2011, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake triggered a powerful tsunami, launching 125-feet high waves at the coast of the Tohoku region of Honshu, the largest and most populous island in Japan. nearly 16,000 people were killed, hundreds of thousands displaced, and millions left without electricity and water. Railways and roads were destroyed, and 383,000 buildings damaged, including a nuclear power plant at Fukushima. “In lessons for today’s businesses deeply hit by pandemic and seismic culture shifts, it’s important to recognize that many of the Japanese companies in the Tohoku region continue to operate today, despite facing serious financial setbacks from the disaster,” she writes. “How did these businesses manage not only to survive, but thrive?”

  • COVID-19 Might Not Change Cities as Much as Previous Pandemics

    Plague, cholera and tuberculosis have all left marks on urban architecture. The Economistwrites that this may not be the case with the current epidemic. If covid-19 can be run to ground in a couple of years, the urban fabric might not change much. Plague, cholera and tuberculosis worked on cities slowly. They forced change because people believed they would return or never leave. By contrast, many people hope that coronavirus will be defeated fairly quickly. In the first country it attacked, some urban adaptations have already been undone. In China many apartment blocks acquired shelves where delivery drivers could leave food and other goods. Almost as soon as the lockdowns lifted, they were taken down.